SACRAMENTO — Warehouse Artist Lofts in downtown Sacramento transformed into a space of poetry paint and passion Friday night. The R Street building holds a First Friday art event every month, but for the first time, they’ve dedicated it to Black History Month.
“It’s also the month of Valentine’s Day happening and that idea of loving blackness. Loving Black people, that’s something that needs to be spread because right now we’re seeing the opposite. And so I thought that was really important to bring that message in,” said organizer Omonivie Okhade.
Izayajah McKinney is one of several local Black artists showcasing their work. McKinney’s art points to painful pieces of Black history while also stressing the importance of emotional and mental health.
“I think it’s not talked enough about, like it’s those hard conversations to have that are hard pills to swallow,” said McKinney. “Let’s just speak what it is. This is what it is.”
Black History Month is celebrated through art while aiming for a canvas of inclusion.
“I think if anyone cares about supporting our fellow community members and they want to proudly say Black lives matter, then it’s important to be here at events and put your money where your mouth is,” said attendee Carly Adams.
“We’re all kind of stuck in our little bubbles and stuff in this kind of box in that sense, and I think we need to find ways to break free,” said McKinney.
Warehouse Artist Lofts holds a First Friday event every month where you can meet local artists, business owners, and try new food.
Marlee Ginter is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist. She joined CBS13 in January 2020 from WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids. Prior to that she worked at KOMO TV in Seattle, Washington; WISH TV in Indianapolis, Indiania; WSPA TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina; and WTOC TV in Savannah, Georgia.
As a result, some doctors say many don’t know where to start when it comes to getting help during this time of their life.
“The number one question that women ask when it comes to perimenopause and/or menopause is whether or not their symptoms are actually related to this transition in life, or is this a symptom that might be more concerning for maybe another chronic medical condition,” Dr. Shafeena Premji, a family doctor and medical director of Mahogany Medical Clinic in Calgary, told CBC’s The Dose host Dr. Brian Goldman.
LISTEN | Answers to some of the most common questions submitted by listeners:
The Dose27:13How can I manage the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause?
This week, we’re answering your questions about perimenopause and menopause symptoms and treatments. Dr. Shafeena Premji, a family doctor and medical director of Mahogany Clinic in Calgary, shares her best advice on how to manage symptoms and when to speak to a health-care provider.
That’s why experts like Dr. Rebecca Thurston recommend women suffering from symptoms that may or may not be linked to menopause speak to their health-care provider.
“You probably can get help with many of these symptoms that you’re experiencing and there’s no need to do it alone,” said Thurston, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh who has done extensive research on the connections between menopause and women’s cardiovascular health.
Experts say it’s important to know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to symptoms or treatments. But here is what they say you should know in response to your questions about the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
What are the stages?
Premji, who is also a North American Menopause Society (NAMS) certified menopause practitioner, believes that it’s really important for women to understand the terminology. That’s because if they understand the terminology, then “she will have more confidence in opening up a conversation with her health-care provider,” Premji added.
There are three stages in this natural change in a woman’s life.
WATCH | Everything you should know about perimenopause and menopause:
As the menopause movement heats up, The National brings together the experts to answer your questions — and our viewers had a lot of them — about the signs, symptoms and treatment options.
Perimenopause is the time when women start to have symptoms and will notice changes in their menstrual cycles. It can last anywhere from six-to-eight years on average, according to the Menopause Foundation of Canada.
Menopause for most women is “the one-year anniversary of her last menstrual period,” Premji said.
Postmenopause is the day after her one-year anniversary of no periods and the rest of a woman’s life, she added.
How do I know if I started perimenopause?
Most women go through perimenopause between the ages of 40 and 50.
Dr. Jerilynn Prior, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of British Columbia, says there are no tests to tell if a woman has entered perimenopause.
“The doctor is going to have to believe the woman.”
There are more than 30 symptoms of perimenopause identified by the Menopause Foundation of Canada, like hot flashes and heart palpitations. Those symptoms can sometimes continue until the end of life.
White Coat Black Art26:30The Menopause Movement: Part 2
Primary care providers don’t always recognize menopause symptoms for what they are, focusing instead on whether they’re a sign of a more serious problem. Not all know that menopausal hormone therapy is a safe and effective treatment for many women. We explain why that’s the case, and the range of treatments that can help women.
But it’s important that women raise these symptoms with their health-care provider, according to Teresa Isabel Dias, a pharmacist and a certified menopause practitioner based in Toronto.
That way a doctor can rule out any medical conditions that may have similar symptoms to the menopausal transition, she said.
How can I deal with night sweats or hot flashes?
Premji says night sweats and hot flashes “are essentially the same but present differently.”
These vasomotor symptoms are related to fluctuating hormone levels, which affect the part of your brain that regulates body temperature.
LISTEN | Women share their experiences with perimenopause, menopause:
White Coat Black Art26:30The Menopause Movement: Part I
Women who have had troubling health experiences say perimenopause and menopause should be recognized and treated faster because it would reduce needless suffering. Four women share their stories and offer ideas about what should change in the health-care system to improve the experience for others.
The available treatments for hot flashes do not cure them, according to the North American Menopause Society, but they can provide relief.
Premji recommends making lifestyle changes as a first step.
“I do find that women who stop smoking or limit their alcohol or caffeine intake will usually find improvements in their vasomotor symptoms,” she said.
Dias suggests going to bed cold by using lighter blankets, wearing pyjamas made out of cotton and keeping a glass of water nearby. Women have also used a cold compress for relief.
WATCH | The push to rebrand menopause:
The menopause movement is heating up, empowering women to talk more openly about their symptoms and demand treatment. CBC’s Ioanna Roumeliotis steps into the world of menopause advocacy and uncovers a passionate community fighting a system that unfairly sidelines women’s health.
But, she says, for some, those methods aren’t enough.
“If you really have a hard time with night sweats, you’re going to have to do something else.”
Hormone therapy — systemic estrogen therapy and estrogen-progesterone therapy for those with a uterus — are the standard treatments, according to Dias and Premji.
Some women try out herbal remedies like black cohosh or evening primrose oil, Premji said. But studies on the effectiveness of these products are either small or limited, so she doesn’t recommend these products to manage symptoms.
How can I deal with migraines and brain fog?
Migraines are a common symptom during this change, which is likely due to the drop in estrogen during this transition, Premji said.
There aren’t any Health Canada-approved hormone products to prevent or treat migraines, she added, but sometimes hormone therapy is used to help “minimize those huge fluctuations in the hormones,” she said, and that can sometimes help with migraines.
Brain fog is another common symptom discussed in Premji’s office, she said. Many women have told her about lapses in memory and complaints from partners about changes to memory.
“This can be very disabling for a woman when she has otherwise been very high-functioning,” she said.
The good news is that the brain fog experienced during this transition usually lasts for a short time and does not lead to dementia, she added. To help with brain fog, Premji recommends cutting down on smoking, alcohol and caffeine. She also recommends socializing in a new way by volunteering or learning a new skill.
Are yeast infections and bladder issues symptoms?
The short answer is yes.
When Premji explains to women what happens in menopause — specifically with estrogen deficiency — she draws a stick figure to point to the places in the body where there are estrogen receptors.
“We have estrogen receptors in our bladder, in our vulva, vagina and urethra. So when a woman is going into menopause, the estrogen deficiency can lead to changes in bladder function,” she said.
Women have told her about bladder infections, burning when urinating, dryness and abnormal discharge, which could all be due to estrogen deficiency.
She says there are treatments — hormonal and non-hormonal — available for many of those symptoms, such as antibiotics for urinary tract infections.
How can I manage weight gain?
During this time, many may experience weight gain, which can be caused by many factors. According to the North American Menopause Society, “there is no scientific evidence that menopause or hormone therapy is responsible for midlife weight gain.”
The society went on to say on its website that this natural change may be related to changes in body composition and fat distribution.
“The key to managing weight in this time of life is really exercise,” Premji said, adding that 150 minutes per week of physical activity and weight training up to three days a week are important.
“We know that muscle utilizes more calories more efficiently, and so that would really help a woman to maintain her weight during this transition.”
A big hindrance to getting active is the fatigue that may come with the change. Women may experience it because of sleep disturbance, stress or because of inflammation caused by the changing estrogen levels.
Dias says she recognizes it can be hard to get a workout in when you’re fatigued, but to try to exercise as much as possible and to eat well.
“All these adjustments help a bit,” she said.
What should I know about hormone therapy?
Experts say it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to menopausal hormone therapy as every woman has their own risk profile. Speaking to a health-care professional is essential.
Menopausal hormone therapy for most women will generally include estrogen and progesterone, Premji said. Women who have had a hysterectomy will only receive estrogen.
Premji and Dias say the general guidelines on who can take hormone therapy to manage symptoms are: women who are younger than 60 with no medical conditions that preclude them from taking hormones, and women who are less than 10 years post-menopause.
“It doesn’t mean that every woman needs to go on hormone therapy, but if they have symptoms which would be improved with hormone therapy, then it is absolutely a safe option,” Premji said.
Women who should not be on hormone therapy are those who have:
A personal history of breast cancer
A blood clot in the lung or deep leg veins
A history of a stroke, or liver disease
Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
Severe migraines with aura
Declining levels of testosterone during the change can be behind a number of symptoms, including lack of sex drive, experts have said. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy for women to get their hands on appropriate testosterone treatments in Canada.
Women can get testosterone through compounding pharmacies, but a precise dose isn’t always guaranteed, costs tend to be higher and it can be difficult to get coverage from insurance companies.
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Come down to the California Museum where you can take a look at Black American contributions to California’s rich history. Focusing on themes of resilience, activism, democracy and community, this exploration of signature and temporary exhibits highlights the influence of Black Americans in California.
Feb. 1 – 28
Located at The California Museum (1020 O St., Sacramento)
This free celebration highlights the accomplishments Rosa Parks made during her lifetime as well as the legacy she left behind and how Transit Equity Day helps level the playing field for Global Intermodal Transportation Systems.
This is an opening reception for a solo exhibition featuring the mixed-media artwork of local artist and community activist, Shonna McDaniels. This event is free and open to the public with music, light refreshments, and art on display.
SacTownYouthNights is a catalyst for youth, teens, young adults and families to have a safe space to hang out while enjoying a wide range of exciting activities in a positive environment. This event consists of food, entertainment, music, arts and crafts, raffles, resources, and a poetry contest!
Did you know that February is National Heart Health Month too? This event reminds us to use this month to take extra care of our heart health and help those who already suffer from heart disease. Be sure to wear red and come enjoy live jazz music, speed networking, drinks and appetizers, and good company!
This event is filled with inspirational speakers to talk about the contributions Africans and African Americans have made in history from the past until now and beyond, a tribute to military members, spoken word, health screenings, a book giveaway for children, live music, and more!
1 – 5 p.m. Feb. 4
Located at Marina Lounge (700 Main St., Suisun City)
Come out and enjoy a presentation given by direct descendants of Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen about the first Black military aviators. They will cover facts, statistics, and personal historical perspectives on their true history and legacy.
7 – 9 p.m. Feb. 8
Located at Parks & Recreation Office Building Senior Activity Room (5460 5th St., Rocklin)
Come kick off Black History Month and learn the history behind the building that is not only a historical landmark, but also where the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce meets! Enjoy food, music, and good company.
Come up to the mic and speak your piece! The Roberts Family Development Center invites those of all ages to sing, rap, recite your own poetry pieces, dance or share any form of expression in honor of Black History Month.
A celebration of artistic expression created to uplift and highlight Black achievement through poetry, music, dance and singing, this event will offer an opportunity to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans who have devoted their time, talents, culture, and resources to make a difference in the Rancho Cordova community and throughout the Sacramento region.
Come celebrate the sweet potato and learn about its cultural importance, its health benefits, and more! This is a community event filled with local entertainment, vendors, and a sweet potato pie eating contest.
Author, dynamic speaker, visionary, and entrepreneur 19 Keys is coming to Sacramento to talk about his journey to success and shed light on the historical context of creating and addressing the inequities that are built into our institutions. There will be special guests as well as featured artists.
A celebration of Black family, love, economics, and health. There will be live music, food, panel discussions, a fashion show, guest speakers, cooking demos, black wineries, a vendor market, a Black heritage 5K walk/run, a mural kick-off, and a kid’s zone!
A family-friendly event open to those of all ages to spread love! Black History Month gives us the opportunity to bring the community together with genuine love and connections and at this event you can spread love through art and good company.
To celebrate Black excellence and Black-owned spirits, this is a 5-course dinner presented by Fixins Soul Kitchen paired with a cocktail and an opportunity to learn the history of Nearest Green, the first known African-American master distiller.
6 – 9 p.m. Feb. 15
Located at Fixins Soul Kitchen (3428 3rd Ave., Sacramento)
A feature-length documentary and panel discussion discussing the issues fueling the maternal health crisis within the African American community and advocating for best practices to enhance birthing equity for all women, especially Black women.
Celebrate Black History Month at this annual Black History Month Art Show and Crafters event! There will be art, vendors, crafters, shopping, wine tasting at 14 tasting rooms, food trucks on-site and more.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Feb. 19
Located at Old Sugar Mill (35265 Willow Ave., Clarksburg)
Celebrate Black History Month with comedy and some poetry by local talent! With laughs from comedian Lance Woods, this event also accepts donations for men, women, and children if you bring hats, gloves, or scarves.
6:30 – 10 p.m. Feb. 19
Located at Learning to Love Development Center (4349 Stockton Blvd. Suite. 9, Sacramento)
An event engaging two successful local restaurateurs, Ernesto Delgado and Ryan Royster, who have a mission to create immersive culinary experiences and bring the Sacramento community together through their love of food, art, and culture.
A Crocker concert series creating connection and community through the arts and spreads love one beat at a time. Raised on the beautiful islands of Jamaica and Dominica in the Caribbean, Bryson Musiq and the Caribbean Soul present authentic Roots Rock Reggae!
7 – 10 p.m. Feb. 23
Located at The Crocker Art Museum (216 O St., Sacramento)
The event is free and open to the public and will feature a parades, a Black Sports Hall of Fame Tribute to the “Original” Sacramento Kings, a hair battle, a music and film festival business fair and networking conference, nightly concerts and performances and more!
Feb. 24 – 26
Located at The Hyatt Regency (1209 L St., Sacramento)
A communal hub connecting local Black farmers and herbalists to the wider Sacramento community. This market will feature various Black farmers, herbalists, and artisans providing the best most local products!
With performances by Lucky Witherspoon, Vadia, Yardley Griffen and Lizzy Paris, this event is hosted by Dru Burks and honors the Sacramento pillars of the community Pleshette Robertson and Venetia James.
Inspired by the origins of the first known beer recipe dating back to 3900 B.C. in Mesopotamia, this collaboration is an opportunity for those in the craft beer industry to amplify their voices and for the community to understand the underrepresentation in the industry.
6 – 9 p.m. Feb. 25
Located at Oak Park Brewing Company (3514 Broadway, Sacramento)
The theme this year is: “From Challenge to Triumph.” This conference is for 6th to 12th-grade students, families and caregivers and will focus on activism, advocacy, empowerment and much more within the community.
7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Feb. 25
Located at T.R. Smedberg Middle School (8239 Kingsbridge Dr., Sacramento)
The annual kick-off is uniquely designed for AACSA to highlight and elevate and share Black creators’ works and talents! There will be food, beverages, activities, information and resources, and invite the active participation of Black creatives.
A free community event for all ages featuring local Black-owned businesses, food vendors, photo booths, fashion, giveaways, and good vibes. There will also be a 21+ afterparty with DJs playing all the best soca, afrobeats, reggaeton, salsa, hip hop and R&B music.
Join the largest free, family-friendly event of its kind in California. A parade and festival to celebrate the Black experience past, present and future. Come and be present, be creative, be open and be free!
Arthur Jafa isn’t particularly interested in making ‘good’ art. “When you look at Mount Fuji, is it a good mountain or a bad mountain?” He challenges the journalists at the press preview of his new exhibition at OGR Torino, a multipurpose cultural centre in a former train repair facility in the heart of Turin, Italy. “I don’t care if it has a meaning,” he says, referring to the work inside the space. “I don’t even care if people like it or not.”
Jafa’s attitude towards the way his work is received and the emotional impact it has on its viewers has pushed his artistic output in new directions, following the enormous success of his 2016 video, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death. The overwhelmingly affirmative responses to the work, a rapid-fire barrage of images of Black life in the United States, set to an emotive soundtrack featuring then-named Kanye West, has forced Jafa to reassess his method. His pairing of images and music offered viewers a cathartic experience that, ironically, recreated the very issue he had set out to unpack. The American artist has an ongoing preoccupation with how to make art that has the “power, beauty, and alienation“ embedded in the experience of Black music, while asking what it would be like if the Black people were loved as much as Black music. The questioning of his work’s impact was the driving force behind the creation of his 2018 piece The White Album, for which he was awarded the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The 30-minute video-collage-slash-radical-mixtape homes in on the fragility of white self-conception in the United States.
The Turin art exhibition, titled RHAMESJAFACOSEYJAFADRAYTON, is Jafa’s first solo exhibition in an Italian institution. It continues the contemporary artist’s engrossment with Black music, this time shifting the focus to a larger narrative, told through the lives of some of its protagonists. It’s part of a touring exhibition, initially titled A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions, that was presented at London’s Serpentine Gallery. Jafa reconceived this iteration of the show for specific viewing conditions, in the colossal space and its architectural style of post-industrial rejuvenation.
Entering a dark, cavernous exhibition hall, the visitor is lured in the direction of light and sound emanating from a video work installed somewhere out of view. But in order to reach the source of the foreboding sonic scape that vibrates throughout the space, visitors must pass through a tunnel-like installation, just wide enough for comfort, when turning some of its corners. With walls a couple of metres high, it is hardly spacious enough to allow one to step back and take in the large-scale, blown up found images that cover the full length of the installation’s maze-like structure.
But that’s not the only reason the imagery is hard to process. A sense of violence permeates the art installation, even before the shock of being confronted with a life-size archival image of a lynched body. The grainy, black-and-white picture is shown alongside images of Jimi Hendrix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, a scene from the 1936 black-and-white sci-fi film Flash Gordon, an image of Raw Power-era Iggy Pop (wearing the iconic metallic silver pants that fetched more than $70,000 at auction in 2020), and images of the three Black guitarists that the exhibition’s title pays tribute to—Arthur Rhames, Pete Cosey, and Ronny Drayton.
At the end of the tunnel, visitors spill out to a massive hall where an 85-minute video work AGHDRA (2021) is projected. Here, too, Jafa eschews the aesthetics he has become most known for. The work’s pace is hypnotically slow, and with its bass-heavy droning soundtrack the effect is more mesmerising than heart-rending. Using computer generated rather than found imagery, Jafa creates a black ocean with undulating waves, the texture of which coalesces into a substance that looks like chunks of slate. The sun moves through both day and night in a toxic haze and the black waves get alarmingly high. The Isley Brothers’ 1974 version of Hello It’s Me, which already stretches out Todd Rundgren’s 1972 track considerably, is slowed down even more, sounding pitched down and slightly distorted.
“Thinking is often times overrated,” Jafa tells STIR, when asked about the physical experience he sought to achieve with this immersive exhibition. “A big part of my interest in Black music is how, despite this being an anti-Black environment, Black music supersedes that. And I am really curious as to how people can hate Black people but love Black music? I think a lot of that actually has to do with how it operates on your nervous system.”
The sequence of images in the tunnel-like sculpture, as it turns out, are also meticulously thought-out to imprint on our senses or, as Jafa puts it, “is intuitive but super-considered.” Here, Jafa charts the history of Black “potention,” a term he coined to express what he describes as “the inherent tension between actualised and unactualised potential or capacity. And how that’s a fundamental aspect of Black life.”
“You have a certain capacity, but are you allowed to actualise it?” he explains. “This is true for women as well; it’s true for anybody who’s not—The Citizen.”
The Black “potention” Jafa address in RHAMESJAFACOSEYJAFADRAYTON has to do with Black geniuses such as Basquiat and Hendrix, who have written and changed art and music history, in ways few Black artists were able or allowed to. But it came at a price—both died aged 27. “We don’t know what a 30, 40, or 50-year-old Hendrix would have done,” says Jafa. “It’s almost like there’s a pact that’s been made that if you are allowed to actualise in a way that is atypical for Black people, your lifespan is shortened to almost nothing.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Having the option to speak with her doctor over the phone for basic check-ins and requests has freed up Shawna Ford’s energy for tasks she’d prefer doing.
“Normally, to go into the city, I don’t do anything the day before. I don’t do anything a few days after because it totally drains me. So having those phone appointments is amazing,” the Alberta woman, 62, told White Coat, Black Art.
“The Zoom appointments with a psychiatrist have also just freed up so much of my energy that I can use, you know, on things that I want to do,” she added. “Functional energy, I guess.”
Ford, who has diagnoses of major depressive disorder and myalgic encephalomyelitis, the latter causing extreme fatigue, still visits her doctor in person when necessary. But the pandemic-driven shift toward virtual health care has opened doors that Ford says she doesn’t want to see closed — and she’s not alone in raising concerns about access to quality virtual health care.
“I don’t think the system has their finger on the pulse of what patients need and want, because if it did, we wouldn’t be in this predicament,” said Dr. Aviva Lowe, a Toronto-based pediatrician and lactation consultant.
‘Two classes of Ontarians’
Until December, when a new billing framework came into effect in Ontario and lowered what health-care professionals can get paid for some virtual appointments,Lowe saw patients on KixCare, a virtual, app-based health-care service for children and teens. KixCare, Lowe argues, offers a way to address health inequities by making doctors more accessible for those without a family physician or pediatrician.
“These changes have really created two classes of Ontarians when it comes to accessing virtual care,” Lowe told White Coat, Black Art host Dr. Brian Goldman.
“By that I mean there’s the group of patients who can continue to access it, and those are patients who can access it with their own doctor or with a consultation to another doctor.”
The other group are those without a regular family doctor who may now be limited in accessing health care virtually, she said.
Changes to provincial billing schemes
When the pandemic began, doctors across the country rapidly shifted their practices to phone and video calls, rather than in-person appointments.
Governments across the country quickly implemented emergency billing codes for virtual appointments — often paid at parity with in-person appointments.
But when the Ontario government introduced permanent billing codes for virtual appointments last year, rates paid to doctors for virtual appointments dropped in some circumstances, leading to outcry from providers.
In Ontario, doctors with an ongoing relationship to their patient — a family physician who provides regular, follow-up care, for example — can bill virtual appointments at the same rate as in-person ones, provided they see the patient in-person once every 24 months.
For services where doctors have a one-off interaction with a patient — as is the case with some virtual “walk-in” services, like Lowe’s KixCare — the rate is much lower: $15 for a phone call, or $20 when it’s over video, compared to $67 or more previously.
WATCH | Virtual emergency service to launch in Manitoba:
The service was initially announced as part of the provincial government’s $200-million plan to retain, train and recruit more than 2,000 health-care workers. VECTRS is a centralized emergency care service that will provide clinical guidance and patient transport to health-care staff.
“I would conduct a thorough, comprehensive assessment for whatever the matter would be, which would include taking a detailed history, physical examination through a virtual platform,” said Lowe.
“It’s different than in person but, in pediatrics, observation and interaction can give us a lot of important information as to how well or how unwell a child is.”
She added that the “vast majority” of patients did not require a follow-up appointment, and she rarely referred patients to an emergency department.
Dr. Tara Kiran, a family doctor and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, says while virtual appointments are convenient, having a long-term relationship with your doctor can improve survival rates while reducing costs on the health-care system. Kiran, who is also Fidani Chair in Improvement and Innovation at the University of Toronto, was a co-author of the JMIR study.
“Virtual care has its place … but I think the place in an ideal world is within a continuous relationship with the family doctor,” she said.
“That, of course, gets us to the point that many people don’t have a family doctor, nurse practitioner or a primary care team, and we need to address that.”
Virtual walk-in clinics may offer convenience for patients, but Kiran says that comes at a cost to the overall system as family doctors working with those clinics are not setting up practices that provide comprehensive care.
“Why I worry about the growth of [virtual] walk-in clinic, urgent-care type of medicine is that I feel like it is a Band-Aid that is growing the wound,” said Kiran.
A cross-country survey led by Kiran gathered information from Canadians last September and October about their experiences accessing health care, and their thoughts on virtual health care.
When asked how willing they would be to pay for services offered by new, virtual health-care services that they would otherwise get for free, more than half of respondents said they were not at all willing, while a quarter said they aren’t very willing.
Similarly, more than half of respondents said they were not at all, or not very willing, to use a service operated by a for-profit company. When asked if they would use a service that receives payments from a pharmaceutical company, 70 per cent responded negatively.
The web-based survey was conducted by VoxPop Labs and over 9,200 completed responses were analyzed.
WATCH | Ontario government to cover certain procedures at private clinics:
Ontario is moving more medical procedures into privately run health clinics. The province says the move will cut down on surgical waitlists, but critics argue it will poach staff from already under-staffed public hospitals.
While the results can’t be generalized to the overall population, Kiran says they signal a problem with the existing system — many of the virtual care services now being promoted are for-profit.
“They’re not being transparent, fully transparent with people in a way that people can understand about what is happening,” Kiran said.
Virtual a ‘patient-centred’ approach to health care
Lowe says that it shouldn’t be a surprise that patients who rely on a virtual service like KixCare because they don’t have a family doctor would use the emergency room more frequently.
“The patients who had care with their doctor are, in general, in a better medical situation because they have the luxury of having a doctor,” she told Goldman.
But for those patients — children who otherwise didn’t have regular access to a pediatrician for assessments, or teens without a family doctor to speak with mental health challenges — Lowe argues services like KixCare fill a crucial gap.
“These are families that, you know, mid-weekend or late at night or all alone without access to any other doctor would otherwise be going to the emergency room,” she said.
For Ford, whose conditions mean she relies on disability support payments, ensuring access to virtual care is crucial — especially for people with disabilities who may find it challenging to access services outside the home.
“A lot of disability is made more disabling due to poverty, and having virtual appointments reduces my costs,” she said.
“It’s sensible and it’s very sensitive to a patient-centred approach to health care.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
Whether on stage or screen, the works of William Shakespeare have long been retrofitted for different times, places and audiences.
“The Merchant of Venice” has had cellphones and suits. “Macbeth” has been set in the world of organized crime. “Richard III” has been shifted from the 15th century to a fascist universe resembling Nazi Germany. Name a Shakespeare play, and someone somewhere has probably tried to give it a fresh spin and a new twist.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem,” which is being presented by Pittsburgh Public Theater through Sunday, Feb. 19, plants Shakespeare’s comic fairy tale of marriage and magic in ancient Athens into a more contemporary Black world. The art and music of Harlem are highlighted, including dance, jazz and hip-hop, along with African spiritual traditions and other aspects of Black culture. First unveiled in New York in 2013, it was adapted and is being directed by Justin Emeka, who is also Pittsburgh Public Theater’s resident director.
In Emeka’s estimation, Shakespeare was not a rigid adherent to historical accuracy and, in the same way, “my production re-imagines Athens as an African or Black cultural melting pot — essentially a modern version of the Harlem Renaissance.”
He added, “In this production, audiences will recognize Shakespeare’s classic text, while also being introduced to African and African-American traditions of dance, music, fashion, spirituality and design.”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Harlem” first came to the world’s attention in 2013, when it was presented by the Classical Theater of Harlem. A reviewer for The New York Times called it “as fresh as country lemonade.” The production being presented by Pittsburgh Public Theater at the downtown O’Reilly Theater has an entirely different design than the production presented a decade ago, according to Roya Kousari, a spokeswoman for the company, and a different vision.
Emeka is an associate professor of theater and Africana studies at Oberlin College in Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin in 1995, and in the years since has developed a varied resume, directing or appearing in productions of “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Death of a Salesman,” and “Two Trains Running.” For his master’s thesis, he created a version of “Macbeth” set in the American South just after the Civil War. He has also reworked Moliere’s “The Would-Be Gentleman” into “The Boougie Gentleman.”
“There is a long, long history of Black people performing Shakespeare that dates back hundreds of years, and yet still many questions about how to do so effectively and what it means to his plays,” Emeka said. “Ultimately, we are Black artists who are unapologetically claiming our place as Black people inside Shakespeare’s imaginary worlds. And I think it will excite and inspire audiences who have never seen the play as well as those who have seen it many times.”
Information on showtimes and tickets is available at ppt.org.
As a young girl growing up in southeastern San Diego’s Shelltown neighborhood, Denise Rogers spent time flipping through the pages of Time and Life magazines her mother kept on their coffee table. At the time, she just enjoyed the pictures from galleries in New York, Paris, and Italy. Later, after an introductory art course prompted her to change her major from fashion design to art history, she found a career path that allowed her to pair her love of both history and art.
“Despite being an introvert, my work has taught me that I love teaching and studying art and history, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge about art,” said Rogers, a professor of art history at San Diego Mesa College, where she also manages the college’s World Art collection. “I’ve made many connections over the years with arts organizations in the city. … I couldn’t have made a better career choice.”
That choice has also placed her in the position of curating this month’s “Africa in Context” exhibition at the Mesa College art gallery, through Feb. 23. A reception is being held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the gallery, to celebrate this presentation of African cultural art while also recognizing Black History Month.
Rogers, 57, lives in Paradise Hills with her partner, David Hunter, and she has two children, three dogs, and two cats. In addition to her work at Mesa College, she is also a lecturer at the University of San Diego, and serves on the boards and committees of numerous arts organizations and museums in the county, including the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the San Diego Black Arts + Culture District. She took some time to talk about the “Africa in Context” exhibit and the significance of the cultures and themes presented in it.
Q: Can you start by talking a bit about what is meant by the title of this exhibit, “Africa in Context”?
A: “Africa in Context” was chosen to emphasize the importance of displaying pieces from the Mesa College World Art collection in a manner that will help viewers understand the original context/purpose. When a mask or shrine sculpture is displayed on a pedestal, it doesn’t truly capture the original purpose of the mask. Displaying a mask with the full costume attached gives the viewer a better understanding and appreciation of the performer under the costume, the colors, layers of fabric and, in some cases, symbolism incorporated into the fabric. For shrine pieces or diviner pieces, by placing them on an altar in the space resembling a diviner’s structure, the viewer can better imagine placing an offering on a shrine, or sitting with a diviner for a consultation.
Q: Can you talk about the significance of some of the pieces you selected?
A: Each of the pieces is significant, but a couple that stand out are the Ere Ibeji pieces from the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria. Ere Ibeji serve as vessels for the spirits of deceased twins prescribed by a ritual specialist. There is a high level of twin births amongst the Yoruba people, a phenomena they trace back to their ancestors. The creation of Ere Ibeji occurs with the unfortunate death of a twin. The figures are meant to activate the spirit of the deceased twin, thus turning the figure into a human. The twins are then clothed, fed, and adorned to placate the spirit of the deceased. Without proper nurturing and care, the deceased will feel neglected and this may lead to the death of the living twin, bringing anxiety and misfortune to the family. The twins have idealized forms of beauty: conical heads, columnar torsos, long arms, convex chests, geometric patterning of the elaborate hairstyles, protruding eyes and full, smiling mouths. The cowrie shells represent fertility and prosperity. These figures were rubbed with cam wood and ritually washed to maintain their spiritual power.
What I love about San Diego…
I grew up in the South Bay, in the Shelltown neighborhood adjacent to National City. San Diego has always been my home and there is a comfort level here that I appreciate. I live among working-class people of all ages and ethnicities, and I appreciate the diversity in my neighborhood. What is especially ideal is the quick drive to local beaches, mountains, parks, and all that San Diego has to offer artistically. San Diego is a great place to live.
Q: What was your process for conceptualizing the layout for displaying the works in this exhibition?
A: Originally, I wanted to create environments to simulate people traveling throughout the continent, like a walking tour; however, there were limitations in terms of materials and space, and also time constraints. Ultimately, I settled on placing the figures where the viewer could best conceptualize movement, entering a larger structure, or walking along a road. The fertility wall is meant to simulate a rock outcropping. Many groups construct shrines within rock outcroppings or mounds within their communities. The fertility figures are then placed on/within the shrine, along with other items, such as beads, cowrie shells, palm or kola nuts, candles, and liquid offerings.
For the larger Gelede and Maiden Spirit Masks, I chose to place them on dress forms to simulate a performance through the layering of fabric. The forms are static; however, by placing them in the center of the gallery, viewers can move around the figures, which will get them closer to that real-life experience. There are videos of the actual performances playing in the gallery, so visitors will be able to see the performance and make those connections to the masks. The central figure displays a Gitenga mask from the Minganji, the Eastern Pende peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The costume and mask are both authentic pieces, with the exception of the raffia skirt, arm, and leg attachments. The placement of the Gitenga mask in the center of the gallery allows viewers to see the vibrant turaco feathers radiating from the mask. Viewing the blue, black, and purple colors from the rear is an amazing visual. There is a video showing the dynamic movements of the performers, which enhances the visitor’s experience. The Kuba and Kongo facades were placed to best simulate community structures where visitors could imagine walking into these spaces.
Q: In this decolonized approach to sharing and presenting these works from African cultures, what were some of the questions you and your team wrestled with? And what were some of the results of those conversations that can be seen in “Africa in Context”?
A: Ensuring that the items were mounted securely and all staff and students followed appropriate protocol when handling the artwork was always forefront. However, there were two questions that I frequently returned to while installing the exhibition: I tried to avoid reconstructing environments that resembled ethnographic displays, and I also limited the number of descriptive placards on the wall. Ethnographic displays tend to present groups as objects of study rather than active cultural groups. The inclusion of the videos to activate the space support this goal and provided enhanced visual context. Limiting the descriptive placards helps to keep the focus on the distinct features of each of the environments. Visitors will have access to printed handouts and a website containing information outlining the cultural meaning, design, materials, and symbolism, so they leave the exhibition better informed about the cultural practices that accompany each piece.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: My first San Diego & Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association mentor, Susan Delaney, told me to always be authentic in my role as an instructor. Her advice was to be myself with students and to share personal stories to connect with them because students will see right through inauthentic behavior.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
A: If I tell you, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Maybe that I am a private person, which is why I avoid events with large crowds, unless I feel it’s beneficial for me to attend. I typically like to go to galleries and museums when they first open or when they are almost empty, and in my favorite sweatpants. Opening receptions, parties, etc., are a bit overwhelming.
Q: Please describe your ideal San Diego weekend.
A: Spending time with my partner and my kids. I also like small get-togethers with my colleagues at Mesa, playing with my pets, and working in the yard (I love pulling weeds). My partner and I like our long lunches or dinners where we reflect on our week. There are many fine dining establishments in San Diego that we enjoy. My kids, especially, love amusement parks and watching them ride roller coasters is a thrill. My son loves that the city voted to raise the height restriction near Sea World — he’s waiting for the next roller coaster.
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
The event saw collaboration between Black artists and organizations to commemorate Black love
In Gainesville, Black love doesn’t have one definition. Spoken word artists have given it several.
The City of Gainesville, in partnership with the Bailey Learning and Arts Collective (BLAAC), kicked off its Black History Month schedule with a celebration of Black love, poetry and arts at the Historic Thomas Center Friday night. The event marked the third time the city and BLAAC have come together to voice Black artists through their spoken words and paintings, according to BLAAC founder Terri Bailey.
As a poet herself, Bailey created BLAAC as a grassroots nonprofit organization to not only promote the arts, but to empower historically Black communities in Gainesville with newfound knowledge. For example, the organization has led workshops on building generational wealth through the values of heirs and wells; Bailey also leads the Queen’s Room, a women’s empowerment group that emphasizes facets of health such as self-care and safe sex practices.
The event first served up music from DJ Double A and food with help from BLAAC members such as intern Janet Ali. Ali, a University of Florida sociology senior, joined the nonprofit this year through the Active Learning Program which pairs students with community-based programs for a semester.
“As a student you live in your little UF bubble and you don’t really have much awareness of what goes on around you,” she said. “Working with Ms. Bailey has given me the insight on the local community and what they need.”
One of those needs is financial support for Gainesville artists — a gap Bailey sought to fill with BLAAC. The organization fundraises to pay for expenses as well as compensation for local activists and artists who participate in events. Bailey, and her husband, muralist Turbado Marabou, understand the struggles artists go through.
“People tend to think that all we need is exposure, but we can’t pay rent with exposure,” Bailey said.
The celebration featured painted works for sale from artists Kenneth Keith and Alyne Harris, a Gainesville folk artist in attendance.
Bailey kicked off the night with a reaffirmation of the celebration’s purpose; she would recount current events that have troubled the Black community such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ disavowment of “wokeness” in state education which recently included the rejection of an Advanced Placement African American studies course for high schoolers.
“I’m going to continue to do events like this to make sure we are celebrated, that we celebrate ourselves and that we love upon ourselves,” she said.
Bailey and Marabou exchanged poetry about familial love followed by Ray Ali, a UF psychology senior and the president of the UF Living Poets Society, who performed her poem about her work with afterschool programs in Duvall. The poem reflected her adoration for the students she watches over. It also conveyed the concern she feels for these young Black children who are pitted against a system of racism highlighted most recently by the killing of Tyre Nichols.
Ali took her first poetry workshop her first semester of college and has since sustained the passion.
“Poetry is just one way for us to connect to each other and share a wide variety of emotions,” Ali added.
Other poems expressed feelings of positivity through Black love. 20-year-old Daniel White took the open mic opportunity to share his poem, “Formula” and its messages on success, unity and love.
“A lot of people separate themselves based off how they grew up, their surroundings,” he said. “I would love to see more people share that love that Black people have for each other with everybody.”
White began writing down his own poems about two years ago and finds fulfillment through his creative process and that of others. He hosts the “Lettuce Get Creative” podcast where he reaches out to other artists about their processes.
“Whenever you’re doing something you really enjoy, it doesn’t feel like it’s coming from you,” White said. “It feels like it’s coming from a place of experience.”
Friday’s celebration is just the start for Black History Month in Gainesville, according to Carol Richardson, the acting cultural affairs manager for the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
“It is always important to honor Black voices,” Richardson said. “But [this month] particularly gives our neighbors an opportunity to come together, who normally may not, to learn and listen and hear from another and share the culture.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment
As it is for most families, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a special time for Dr. Harmon Kelley’s family. But it’s one that has been shadowed with dread in recent years.
“Martin Luther King Day is a wonderful holiday,” Dr. Margaret Kelley, his daughter and partner in Southeast OB-GYN Associates, said. “But he got sick on Martin Luther King Day in 2020 and had to have an emergency pacemaker inserted. And so there’s been a little anxiety every Martin Luther King holiday since.”
RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment